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Close Call
Discussion regarding the reloading of ammunition and tuning of loads for accuracy
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Super Member
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Joined: Sep 20, 2010
Posts: 2985
Location: Iowa

PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 9:07 pm    Post subject: Close Call Reply with quote

This is a perfect example of why reloading needs the persons full attention. Got a call from a shooting buddy that I introduced to reloading a few months back during the summer. He was target shooting his reloads out in his back yard and went thru 54 rounds out of 200 that he reloaded the night before.

The 55th round was a squib, thank goodness he remembered the stuff I told him and he stopped firing and gave me a call and told me what happened. I told him I would be out in an hour, after I got there I dropped the mag, racked the slide back and using a brass rod I was able to tap the bullet back towards the chamber and then take it out. I looked at the spent brass that he fired and all had carbon traces in them except the squib case which had very little. Sad

I told him you forgot to load the case and the primer alone pushed the bullet half way down the barrel. I also told him Kudos for stopping and calling me immediately. So we grabbed the other 145 loaded cases and headed to his man cave where he started to prepare the kinetic hammer to pull the bullets. I said first thing were going to do is take an empty primed case and shove a bullet into it and weigh it, note the weight of the dummy cartridge and subtract that figure from the weight of the loaded cases.

We hit jackpot on the 8th to last loaded shells that were left, I gave him a nice load of 4grs Bullseye with a 124gr speer jsp bullet that was a accurate load. Anyway that 8th to last cartridge weighed 8.9grs more than the dummy case which was more than a double charge. I told him to say a few prayers tonight before going to bed cuz if you would have fired that shell in your G17 Glock it would have probably been a KB and would have ruined his Tupperware. Very Happy

He made no apologies for his mistake and admitted he wasn't paying full attention by not writing down where he left off before hopping in his car to go grocery shopping. Upon returning home he missed one case and double charged another. I told him I was going to post this on the nut as this is a good example of what happens when not paying attention. Very Happy


Limitations are but boundaries created inside our minds.
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Super Member
Super Member

Joined: Jul 27, 2008
Posts: 6744
Location: south island New Zealand

PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 10:29 pm    Post subject: Re: Close Call Reply with quote

wow he is a VERY VERY lucky man!!!! good on you for getting there and getting it sorted.

You shot it You pluck it !
Them who eats the most duck eats the most feathers!
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Gil Martin
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Joined: Jan 28, 2005
Posts: 1548
Location: Schnecksville, PA

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 5:47 am    Post subject: Re: Close Call Reply with quote

All good points. When I reload, I weigh my charges and immediately seat a bullet in the case. It pays to be careful. All the best...

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Site Admin
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Joined: Jan 18, 2005
Posts: 3082
Location: Utah

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:59 am    Post subject: Re: Close Call Reply with quote

Last night I started loading up 20 rounds w/ 160grn accubonds for my 7STW as backup gun for boys elk hunt that starts this coming saturday. I set the scales and charged 5 cases. Something just felt wrong so I double checked everything and realized I had the scale set to 80 grns not 78 grns as my load specified. *blush* I dumped the 5 cases powder back in the hopper and re-did it with the correct amount.

Always double, triple check everything when setting up! No mater how many times you did it before.

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Super Member
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Joined: Apr 08, 2011
Posts: 1052
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 2:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Close Call Reply with quote

I am sure we all have our techniques when it comes to being sure of every load. When setting up I ensure my loading bench is uncluttered. Only the inspected brass I am loading and the powder I am using is on the bench. I have light coming from overhead and both sides. My scale is calibrated after being allowed to warm up for a few minutes. The setting of my dies are checked each reloading session. I do each step completely and then check each case before moving onto the next step. For plinking, the first five charges are weighed and then the tenth and every tenth after that. I use two reloading blocks and when a step is completed that case is moved to the other block. Before I seat the bullet I check the powder is there and for pistols that each charge looks the same amount. A double charge in a pistol case can be seen by visual inspection. Since it is pretty much impossible to double charge a rifle I simply confirm the powder is there. Also I confirm each loading from my records or two sources or both if my records only cover one reloading. Nothing is done from memory or taken for granted. If I sound cautious then that is good.

La a'Blair s'math n Cairdean
(Friends are good on the day of battle)
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Super Member
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Joined: Sep 22, 2007
Posts: 4345
Location: NC foothills

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 4:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Close Call Reply with quote

Omini, sounds like you've done a good job teaching! And luckily he was a good student so nothing bad happened.

Reloading isn't a hobby for everyone. You've got to be kinda particular about what you are doing to stay safe and get good results. I've personally seen some cases blown by careless reloaders and we've all seen pics online of similar kabooms. I've walked away from people at the range after they told me how they loaded their ammo.

I've been fairly lucky. I've had high primers, due to a crack in my priming tool that I missed. I had some squib loads when I first started using my progressive press when the powder measure hung and I didn't notice. Many years back I accidentally used Contender loads in a .357 revolver. Luckily it was a Ruger and stayed together. All valuable lessons that luckily didn't result in any damage or injuries.


"I ain't no better than anyone else, and there ain't no one better than me!" Ma Kettle

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Super Member
Super Member

Joined: May 07, 2006
Posts: 5646
Location: Sydney Australia

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 5:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Close Call Reply with quote

The guardian angel must have worked overtime there..
I am glad no one is hurt.

A straight line is the shortest distance between two points.
A smile is the shortest distance between two people.

The government I trust .. is my .45-70 Government.

Do - Not try!
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Donut Slayer
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Joined: Jun 27, 2007
Posts: 591
Location: Pensacola, Florida

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 6:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Close Call Reply with quote

Great job Omini. 4 words for your friend, loading block, and visual conformation. BTDT have the t-shirt.

Browning X-Bolt in 30'06. The work for a pet load starts again. Wink The more people I meet, the more I like my dog.
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